For thousands of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement and the culmination of a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice.
Today, customers on United flight 408 from Newark Liberty to Chicago O’Hare will get a surprise screening of the premiere of Destination: Team USA, a documentary produced by United Airlines and Tribeca Digital Studios. The film’s director, Adam Hootnick, Team USA hopeful Dartanyon Crockett and producers from Tribeca will be onboard for the screening.
This film focuses on five athletes in particular, for whom the opportunity to represent the United States in Brazil means overcoming not only their opponents on the road to Rio, but also overwhelming personal odds.
The documentary captures their captivating stories in Destination: Team USA, the first feature film ever commissioned by a U.S. airline.
Destination: Team USA follows:
- Marathoner and 37-year-old single mom Andrea Duke on her final shot at competing on the world stage,
- Legally blind Paralympic judo wrestler Dartanyon Crockett as he overcomes a difficult childhood in Cleveland’s housing projects,
- Diver Abby Johnston as she balances medical school with her gold-medal dream,
- Ibtihaj Muhammad as she fights to shatter stereotypes as the first Muslim woman to compete for the United States as a saber fencer, and
- Boxer and comedian Cam F. Awesome as he battles with himself and his opponents.
Customers onboard will receive Team USA-branded amenity tins, Tribeca Film Festival gear and Garrett Popcorn as they enjoy the documentary film during the flight.
“This documentary chronicles the intense training, the focus and the incredible commitment of these athletes as they travel the world with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in their sights,” said Thomas F. O’Toole, United senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “All of us at United are proud of the role we play helping the athletes pursue their dreams to be the best, and through this innovative partnership with Team USA and Tribeca Film Festival, customers are invited to experience these stories onboard their next flight.”
“I am thrilled to be taking part in my first in-flight premiere – and possibly the first in-flight premiere! – for Destination: Team USA,” director Adam Hootnick said. “Since our film documents the extraordinary lengths and distances to which these athletes go for their shot at Team USA, I feel it’s somehow appropriate that our film will be seen for the first time by an audience in the middle of a journey of their own.”
United has also joined with Regal Cinemas and Coca-Cola to bring Destination: Team USA to theaters near each of the airline’s mainland U.S. hub airports. Beginning on June 27, United employees can attend screenings in Chicago; Staten Island, New York; Rolling Hills Estates, California; Golden, Colorado; Houston; Ashburn, Virginia; and Dublin, California.
In 2016, United marks 35 years as the official airline of Team USA and its third year as a sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival.